CLEVELAND - Cleveland's zoo says a new elephant exhibit contributed to jumbo attendance this year, despite record rainfall.
The Cleveland Metroparks Zoo is headed toward ending 2011 with more than 1.3 million visitors, for only the fourth time in history. Officials expect to show a 10 percent increase in attendance over last year.
The zoo's $25 million African Elephant Crossing exhibit opened in May and brought the big animals back after a two-year absence.
Several attendance records were set during the year including the busiest day ever, when nearly 25,000 people visited on June 13. The zoo also had its biggest June and biggest November on record, and the busiest Mother's Day and Thanksgiving Day.
Visitors were undaunted by Cleveland's more than 62 inches of rain this year.